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How to Benefit from Mental Health Awareness Month 2023

Every May since 1949, Mental Health America has organized Mental Health Awareness Month. This is a time of year to seek greater understanding and attainment of mental health.  Mental Health is important for individuals, families, communities, and societies to thrive. When people are stressed out or dealing with mental health disorders, everyone suffers. And unfortunately, about 1 in 5 Americans are dealing with a mental health challenge. 

In this blog, we’ll cover what Mental Health Awareness Month is, why it matters, tips to implement as an individual, and what to do when extra support is needed. 

What Is Mental Health Awareness Month?

Having been institutionalized himself for 3 years, Yale University graduate Clifford Beers was viscerally aware of the need to reform the U.S. mental healthcare system. That’s why he started Mental Health America (MHA) in 1909. In the 100+ years since its founding, MHA has funded studies and shaped legislation to have a positive impact on the mental health of Americans and others around the world. 

When MHA originally began organizing Mental Health Awareness Month, it wasn’t a month. It started out as one week each year. As support grew, MHA decided that mental health deserves a full month of focused attention each year. That’s why in 1949, MHA declared May to be Mental Health Awareness Month. Today, MHA is focused on preventing mental health disorders from occurring. Their #B4Stage4 philosophy says that we can treat physical ailments like cancer before they become terminal, so we should be able to do the same for mental health ailments like anxiety and depression. 

Why Celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month?

We believe everyone is impacted by their mental health. When mental health is good, life can feel good too. And when it’s less than optimal, mental health can make life difficult. 

At APS, we’re committed to providing novel treatments for challenges like anxiety, depression, OCD and PTSD. That’s because we understand the value of mental healthcare.  Mental health can impact one’s physical health, career, motivation, relationships, sleep, and more. So, it’s important to get this foundational piece right.  

Because your inner and outer environments affect your mental health, the theme that MHA picked for May 2023 is look around, look withinThe reason they chose this theme is to get participants to consider how they think and feel in different contexts, and notice ways to improve those contexts. For example, MHA recommends getting enough sunlight, purifying your air with a device or indoor plants, getting amazing sleep, and socializing regularly. By paying attention to the environment’s effect on one’s mood, MHA hopes to inform people about their own mental health and spark wider discussion. In the end, believes MHA, mental health should be out in the open, not hidden in some dark corner. 

Is There Anything an Individual Can Do?

By bringing more awareness to the Environmental Determinants of Health (EDOH), Illinoisans (and Americans more generally) can start to make improvements in their lives. Simple changes could have big impacts on one’s mental health. For example, by sleeping in a cool, quiet, dark room, a person can begin to have more refreshing sleep.

Here are a list of other things MHA recommends: 

  • Personalize or rearrange one’s living space 
  • Donate unneeded belongings 
  • Tidy up one’s bedroom or living room for 15 minutes 
  • Befriend one’s neighbors 
  • Go to the local park for a nature walk in the sun 
  • Get social support for things like anxiety 
  • Develop a connection with a safe space away from home – a café, library, or place of worship 
  • Plant a plant and watch it grow 
  • Practice gratitude 

By changing one’s environment, mood and connection can improve. 

When Extra Support Might Help

Sometimes, extra help is needed. A person can be too deep into their mental health challenges to pull themselves out. This is when seeking professional support is recommended. To get started, Mental Health America offers free screenings to get individuals started on the path to healing and wholeness. 

By getting clarity about one’s issues, an individual can seek out the right support, including therapy, education, and social support. The first step is knowing the problem and its severity. Afterall, a person can’t fix a problem he’s unaware of. Once the challenge is identified with professional help, individuals can work on a plan to overcome their symptoms. 

Luckily, like mentioned above, mental health is slowly but surely losing its stigma. As organizations like MHA educate the public and invest in mental health, we approach a world that has compassion for mental health challenges. 

The Main Takeaway

Mental Health Awareness Month is about educating oneself, one’s community, and ending the stigma that lingers around mental health topics. By getting involved in events and showing support on social media, we can help bring mental healthcare to more people and heal society. 

For those suffering from depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, and more, Hopemark Health is here to help. We offer specialty services such as our robust Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy treatment and Deep TMS. With locations in Oak Brook, Naperville, Millenium Park, and Chicago, we’ve got Chicagoans covered. 

1200 630 Taylor Carter

Taylor Carter

Taylor Carter is a dynamic Senior Marketing Manager with a passion for crafting compelling narratives and driving impactful campaigns. She has been an integral part of the Hopemark Health team for the past two years. By combining industry insights and medical facts with a deep understanding of the patient experience, Taylor continuously seeks to uplift and empower individuals on their journey to well-being.

Article by: Taylor Carter